Pedestrian Report Card Assessment (PRCA)

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Posted 3/17

Virtually every commuting trip requires some walking. However, while the conditions—or level of service (LOS)—that commuters experience on most modes of transportation are regularly monitored, there is no widely accepted approach for assessing the pedestrian experience. While LOS for other travel modes, such as driving or riding transit, is primarily influenced by travel time delay and traffic volumes, the factors that influence the quality of the pedestrian experience are more nuanced.  The quality of pedestrian travel is largely impacted by the roadway infrastructure, such as, for example, whether there are sidewalks, or traffic signals that allow pedestrians time to cross an intersection before vehicles get a green light.

To reflect the complex relationship between pedestrians and their travel environments, MPO staff developed a Pedestrian Report Card Assessment (PRCA) tool, which grades a given roadway for the quality of pedestrian travel it provides, considering the goals set by the MPO for creating safe facilities for pedestrians, expanding pedestrian infrastructure, improving connectivity of the transportation network, and enhancing economic vitality in the region. MPO staff also established a methodology that uses demographic data and assesses the presence of pedestrian infrastructure to identify the level of need for pedestrian facilities at a given location. The PRCA evaluation results indicate deficiencies in the pedestrian network, and can be used by municipalities to prioritize pedestrian infrastructure improvements. This memorandum provides examples of PRCA evaluations of roadway segments and intersections, and gives an overview of the performance measures that were considered during the development of the PRCA tool.

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